Downhill mountain biker makes an unexpected appearance on rebooted hit TV show Gladiators

Kerry Wilson riding her Privateer MTB
Kerry is normally found sending it on downhill and endoro tracks (Image credit: Privateer)

As far as hit TV shows of the '90s go, one of the best was Gladiators. The classic show saw members of the public battle it out against each other and take on the superhuman Gladiators in games like 'Hang Tough' and 'Pyramid'. The show was a massive hit on Saturday evenings, running for eight seasons across the decade. So when I saw the BBC advertising a rebooted return of the show I was pretty keen to check it out.

However, a contender I didn't expect to see take on the new lineup of Gladiators was a champion downhill mountain biker. As new host Bradley Walsh introduced and chatted to one of the female challengers, she told Walsh she was a mountain biker rider, and as they ran her VT, an impressively good one too.

After a quick hunt around, it was clear the rider in question was Kerry Wilson, who rides downhill MTB and enduro for Hunt Wheels and Privateer, brands we know very well here at Bike Perfect.

Kerry Wilson on Gladiators

Kerry Wilson put in a dominant performance to reach the quarter-finals of the show (Image credit: BBC)

Kerry is very well known on the downhill and enduro mountain bike scene across the UK, and especially here in Scotland, having won the Elite Downhill Scottish championships in 2021 and 2022. Recently she started e-MTB Enduro racing, riding the Privateer E161 e-MTB. She plans on competing in more e-Enduro races this year, and maybe reclaiming her Scottish DH title.

Kerry was asked if her mountain bike skills contributed to her success at the weekend, and here's what she had to say, "My grip strength saved me on 'Hang Tough' and that comes from mountain biking, I managed to hold on to the rings with a Gladiator's entire body weight bouncing on me, trying to get me to release. The entire experience was just surreal and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I just gave it beans man, ha".  

Kerry Wilson on Gladiators

Kerry takes on a Gladiator in the classic 'Hang Tough' (Image credit: BBC)

Beans she gave indeed, as Kerry went on to beat the superhuman Gladiators and her fellow contender rival Natasha Lawrence. It sees Kerry make it through to the quarter-finals of the show, to be screened later in the year. The rest of the series of Gladiators is now in the planner and we can't wait to see how Kerry gets on in the rest of the series.

Meanwhile you check out Kerry and her MTB skills at Privateer Bikes and also her Instagram. Feeling inspired? Check out our New Year bike sale bargains article thats full of great mountain biking deals at superbly discounted prices. There is also our Chain Reactions Cycles 'Warehouse Clearout' article with all the CRC specials.

Paul Brett
Staff writer

Based in Edinburgh, Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.


Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm